AN MP has urged government to “do something popular for once” and plough some of the overseas aid budget into policing to help hard pressed forces.
Shipley MP Philip Davies said the move would be popular with constituents who were concerned about rising crime and want to see more police on the streets.
During an urgent statement in Parliament on the National Audit Office report into Financial Sustainability of Police Forces in England and Wales, Mr Davies went further and hit out at Police and Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire Dr Alan Billings branding him a “moron” for comments made suggesting there is so much money the public should report non crimes as well as crimes.
Mr Davies said: “Policing should always be a spending priority for a Conservative Government. I have voted against cuts to the police grant every year since they were introduced in 2010 and our police are overstretched and it is an increasing concern to many of our constituents. Isn’t it time the Governemnt broke the habit of a lifetime and did something popular and scrapped some of the huge ridiculous sums going into the overseas aid budget and passed it on to our hard pressed police forces which will be popular with our local communities.
“But does the minister agree that calls for increasing the police budget for which I consistently make are not helped by morons such as the Police and Crime Commissioner in South Yorkshire who seems to think that his force have got so much money that they can now start asking people to report non-crime to them as well as crimes.”
The criticism refers to a tweet by Dr Billings which urged people to report non-crime hate incidents, which “can include thinks like offensive or insulting comments, online, in person or in writing.”
Police Minister Nick Hurd said he respected Mr Davies for being a long term champion of the police.
Mr Hurd added: “This government is spending on behalf of the public and the taxpayer over £1 billion more in our police system than we were three years ago and I hope he welcomes that because he fully recognises the police system is stretched and it is our responsibility to make sure they have the resources they need.”
The NAO report said ministers were unaware of the impact spending cuts were having on forces and that the Home Office does not know whether the police system in England and Wales is financially sustainable.”